Judge Kavanaugh and The Second Amendment

Judge Kavanaugh and the second amendment is good news. He says semi-automatic rifles (including the AR-15) are protected by the 2nd Amendment because they have traditionally not been banned and are in common use by law-abiding citizens for self-defense in the home, hunting, and other lawful uses. The lawful uses would include target shooting because the AR-15 is very accurate and tons of fun to shoot. Find someone who hates guns and wants them all to be banned. Put an AR-15 in their hands at a gun range and show them how to shoot it safely and responsibly, and they will likely experience a thrill they will love and remember.

Kavanaugh is skeptical of the rhetorical term “assault weapon’” and of labeling them “offensive.” It is the person, not the gun, who determines whether use of the gun is offensive or defensive, says Kavanaugh. Now that is a concept just about anyone should be able to grasp. It’s common sense. Why are so many so-called scholars judges confused? It’s understandable when certain types of politicians don’t get it. They’re pandering to a base of ignorant voters.

Kavanaugh also says banning a particular class of firearm is Constitutionally no different than banning a category of speech. I’m beginning to like this guy.

See David Kopel’s excellent (and long) piece at The Volokh Conspiracy.


I’d like to see a judge say that the potential efficacy in reducing gun violence should be the test for the Constitutionality of any gun control law. If that were the case I believe there is only one gun control law that would stand the test. That is the law that enhances sentences for use of a firearm in committing a crime.

All the rest, all those on the books today, would fail that test because they only restrict law-abiding citizens and do nothing at all to reduce gun violence by criminals. It is insane to believe that restricting peaceful citizens will reduce criminal gun violence.

David Kopel is no conservative. He describes himself as a libertarian. Whatever he is, he is an excellent writer of intelligent and stimulating prose. His late father,Jerry Kopel,  was a member of the Colorado General Assembly back in the 1960s and 1970s. He fought against occupational licensing laws that provided no needed protection of the public and merely served the purpose of protecting those already in a trade from competition by new entrants. I worked for Jerry Kopel on the February, 1976 Colorado Bar Exam, when he was the owner of a Bar Review company. My job gave me free tuition to the Bar review and might be the reason I easily passed the exam. My job was to sit at the front of the room and record each lecture. That was done to allow those who could not attend an evening lecture to return the next day to listen to the tape.  Since I administered all that I listened to each lecture twice. No better preparation for a Bar Exam exists.

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